Erin Martin – Student Spotlight
Introducing our February 2022 Student Spotlight Erin Martin – Erin attends Aerial classes at the Durham studio
Why and when did you decide to start Aerial?
I started coming to Tempest mid-September 2021 and my first class was a pole class. Originally, I was very nervous to come. One of my best friends did pole at University in Oxford and she was eager for me to try too, so when she was back home before term started, we went to our first pole class with Kes and it was great! So fun and challenging at the same time. I loved it so much that I went back the next week by myself – I even attended a double class and did pole immediately followed by aerial! This was a big step for me as I have anxiety with new people and places. I decided to do aerial hoop because it sounded fun, and I loved it straight away.
Did you do any other dancing/fitness before starting pole and aerial?
I have danced since I was about 2 years old. Starting with ballet and tap, and when I was 10, I went into Disco Freestyle, which was very fast-paced and competitive. I continued this type of dance until the age of 16/17. As much as I enjoyed it, I never felt very good at it and always compared myself to others. I never did great in the competitions either and didn’t feel confident as others were a lot better than me. After a break of a couple of years, I went back to the same dance school to teach, sometimes doing the same classes myself. I am still there now and teach children aged 2-16 to dance. Since doing aerial hoop, I feel confident and I LOVE every second of it. I feel like I am actually good at hoop and I look forward to it every week.
What keeps you coming back to Tempest?
The feeling I get when I’m at aerial hoop is amazing. It’s the perfect mix between fun and challenge. Also, I get to use the skills and flexibility from my dance background, which helps with the harder moves. Hoop helps me to develop my strength (of which I had none) and confidence. I rarely look forward to anything and I look forward to hoop every week. Also I love watching other people in the class succeed – watching new starters try the new moves and smash it, and watching those who have been there a while try complicated and experimental moves is inspiring.
I even dragged all my friends and boyfriend to hoop too so that they can experience the joy I feel. One of the main reasons why I come to hoop is Gemma – she is simply amazing. She is such a good teacher and breaks moves down so they are easy to understand, offers bunches of support and encouragement, and always maintains a relaxed, happy and enjoyable atmosphere.
What is your biggest achievement at Tempest?
Honestly, my biggest achievement is attending every week. I get so nervous around new people and places and experiences, so for me to attend every week, and look forward to attending every week, is a great achievement!
What is your favourite move or combo?
I love all upside down moves! My favourite is probably either Bird’s Nest or the back balances. I also really love doing Birdie Rolls – anything that involves spinning or being upside down is great. I love trying the new moves too! I’ve only been doing hoop a few months so I still have loads of things to try!
What is your nemesis move?
Flipping up onto the hoop (not sure of the actual name). I have next to no upper arm strength and really struggle with this one! But Gemma has gave me moves to do that strengthen the same muscles that are used, which is really helpful!
What advice would you give to new students?
The advice I would give to new students is to try everything! You will be bruised and sore the next day, but it will be worth it. I have tried every class going at Tempest and loved every one of them, but hoop is my favourite. Although some of the moves can be ‘pinchy’, try to have fun in every single class and smile! You might not be good at it at first but as long as you’re having fun, who cares! Tempest is a great school with great classes and great teachers – I have never heard of another dance school in the area offering what Tempest offers, so it’s great for trying something new.
How have you changed since joining the Tempest family?
I am a lot more confident and, honestly, more braggy 😂. Previously I would never post pictures or videos on Facebook of me doing dance, and I danced for nearly 10 years. I would hate anyone posting photos on of me. Now, I post EVERY single picture and video I have of me at aerial on Facebook. I feel proud of what I do when I’m there and want everyone to see how much fun I’m having and how much I enjoy it. I have more motivation since joining Tempest too – I want to go to every class and am constantly on Pinterest looking for new and challenging moves to try! Tempest is a great school and would highly recommend everyone to try a class ❤️. Student Spotlight – Erin Martin